Following her puff piece on 9News Vice President of News Patti Dennis last month, Denver Post media critic Joanne Ostrow went completely the other direction today when she called out 9News photojournalist Brian Willie for his conflict of interest in serving as a family spokesman in an incident 9News was actively covering. Her lede:
Question: According to journalism ethics, when is it proper for a TV station employee to serve as a spokesperson on a news story the TV station is covering?
Answer: After that employee leaves the media job.
Filed under: Denver Post
A day after CBS announces that Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman as host of The Late Show, Denver Post editors run a story wondering who will replace David Letterman.
A month after its news-sharing partnership deal with 9News ended, The Denver Post has inked a similar deal with 7News. Joanne Ostrow has the details.
Here’s a lesson for aspiring PR professionals that they don’t teach you in college: Don’t send confidential emails to public officials who are subject to open-records requests (or this might happen). And maybe think twice about using an attorney who doesn’t already understand this.
Congratulations to the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. CEO Tom Clark, who was named The Denver Post’s 2012 Business Person of the Year.
“Colorado’s biggest economic development deals of the year carry a common, if not glaringly noticeable, element. They benefited from the Tom Clark touch. … He has been a key player in virtually every major business relocation and expansion along the Front Range since landing a job with the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce in 1985.”
In addition to the usual activities of sifting through inflammatory letters to the editor and meeting with local politicians seeking the paper’s endorsement, he had to contend with a minor controversy over whether U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman plagiarized material used in an OpEd.
Now that the election has passed, Hubbard agreed to answer some questions about the plagiarism accusations, as well as a few other issues relevant to the public relations industry.
Q: As a result of the issue with Rep. Coffman’s opinion column, you have implemented new policies to ensure that material The Denver Post publishes is “original work.” What are those new policies, and how do they differ from previous policies?
A: As I told (The Denver Post reporter) Kurtis Lee for his story, we’ve always operated with the understanding that the work people submit is their own. There was a similar issue with Rep. Scott McInnis and op-eds he penned for The Denver Post under previous editors, so I decided that we would spell it to eliminate any confusion. We have posted the policy online and are in the process of creating a form in which contributors acknowledge that, to the best of their knowledge, the work they are submitting is their own (if that sounds a lot like the Honor Code at Colorado College, it’s probably because two brothers and my best friend went there).
Q: Lee reported that, “Ethics experts contacted by The Post said the duplicative writings fall short of their definition of plagiarism. But they said Coffman’s use of material by other writers failed to reach accepted standards for attribution.” What conclusion did you reach as the editorial page editor?
A: The “cut” and “paste” functions on computers and political “messaging” operations can be dangerous.
Q: What, if any, conversations did you have with Rep. Coffman or his office once it was determined that the material had appeared other places under the bylines of other individuals?
A: I haven’t had any conversations with him. I expect we will the next time he offers a piece. We’ve always had a a cordial professional relationship, and I don’t expect this episode to change that fact.
Q: It is a common practice in public relations to ghostwrite material for clients. What is your opinion about that practice? Continue reading